MAG, the operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, finished the year on a high as December saw each airport welcome more passengers than they did in the equivalent month last year.
The December growth rounded off a successful 2018 for MAG, as 61.1 million passengers used its airports, representing an 8.2 per cent year on year increase.
The end of 2018 also marks five years of MAG ownership of London Stansted Airport.
In that time, Stansted has grown its passenger numbers by 57 per cent, serving ten million more passengers in 2018 than in 2013.
Over the same period Manchester Airport grew by 36.7 per cent and East Midlands grew by 12.7 per cent growth at East Midlands.
Overall, this means that MAG’s three airports served 18.2 million more passengers in 2018 than they did five years ago.
This increase has been driven by the huge expansion in route offerings that MAG has worked with airlines to deliver, supported by the significant spare runway capacity that its airports have offered at a time when other major airports have been reaching full capacity.
Manchester Airport’s successful 2018 (up 1.7 per cent to 28.3 million) comes despite the loss of its seventh biggest airline, Monarch, and was driven by new long routes to Addis Ababa, Mumbai and Seattle – as well as a resurgence of leisure traffic to Turkey.
London Stansted Airport welcomed 28 million passengers in a year for the first time in its history (up 8.2 per cent), and also saw a record December (up 10.3 per cent to two million).
East Midlands Airport also grew, by 2.6 per cent, to serve 231,000 passengers in December.
Tim Hawkins, chief strategy officer, MAG, said: “The scale of growth we’ve delivered at MAG airports over the last five years reflects the hugely important contribution that they have made to driving economic growth, both nationally and in the communities around our airports.
“We are delighted to be serving 18 million extra customers every year, compared to five years ago – providing passengers with a much wider choice of routes and airlines, and good value fares.”